One of the hardest parts about living with your romantic/sexual partner is maintaining a strong sense of personal identity.
When you live together (especially if you both work from home!), it’s quite effortless to watch the same media, spend work breaks together, and eat every meal together until you eventually blob into the same person. A four-armed, four-legged singular entity.
Fortunately, there is a way to create healthy space in your relationship while living together.
Below are 4 tips on how to find that healthy space and necessary independence in your relationship.
1. Full Turkey
Spend a few days or a week away from home and go in contact with your partner.
It could be camping on the weekend or renting an Airbnb for a week. Take the space to create a hard reset and rediscover who you are when you’re not leaning on your partner.
2. Hit Pause on One of Your Relational Dynamics
Turn off aspects of your connection with your partner.
For example, Angela and I have a strong play connection. We’ll often become kids around each other. This can be fun, healing, and cathartic. But when we do it too much, it actually can cause conflicts to get stuck.
So sometimes, we’ll take a break from “kid energy.”
Is there a dynamic in your relationship that you can take space from? Play, sex, heady conversation, logistics?
3. Compartmentalize the Relationship
Engage as per usual, but don’t spend time outside of the relationship reflecting on the relationship.
The time you spend thinking or reflecting about a part of your life is actually a way of engaging with it and letting it impact you more deeply.
If you read a book and then deconstruct all of its ideas for the next hour, you are letting that book impact you more deeply. Even just pondering the book later in the day is inviting more impact.
So, for this tip, continue to connect with your partner, but take a break from thinking about the relationship while you’re not participating in it.
4. Noblie Silence
Make an agreement to not talk with each other for a few days. This is a norm used by many meditation retreats. It’s a way to cohabitate with others while staying in your own personal universe.
Clarify the norms with your partner beforehand:
- Do you want to make eye contact and acknowledge each others’ presence when in the same room?
- Do you want to smile at each other?
- Do you want to share texts?
- If a logistic comes up, then what?
Angela and I just did 2 days of noble silence and it created a profound shift in our relationship and allowed us to unhook from some patterns we were caught in.
You can do noble silence every once in a while or even systematize it by doing it every Thursday, for example, to embed space into your relationship.
Stay in Touch!
I hope you found something useful in this article 🙂
If you’d like to stay in touch, consider subscribing to my newsletter, where I’ll send you one or two messages a month and let you know if I have any workshops coming up.